10 rea­sons for Ar­me­nia to step away from short-sighted pol­icy

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Azer Ah­mad­bayli – Trend:

Within the first half of 2017, Ar­me­nia’s per­ma­nent pop­u­la­tion has de­creased by 6200 peo­ple, Na­tional Sta­tis­ti­cal Ser­vice of RA says. The fig­ure comes from the dif­fer­ence be­tween the neg­a­tive net mi­gra­tion rate, which was -8700 peo­ple, and the nat­u­ral growth rate ac­counted for 2500 peo­ple.

Spe­cial em­pha­sis on the mi­gra­tion prob­lem in Ar­me­nia must be made, as this in­di­ca­tor grows rapidly and is grad­u­ally be­com­ing a real is­sue for the coun­try’s econ­omy and de­fense ca­pac­ity.

Facts don’t lie, es­pe­cially those from trust­ful in­ter­na­tional sources. The chart be­low show­cases the whole pic­ture, as we com­pare Ar­me­nia to Azer­bai­jan:

It is note­wor­thy that most of the lat­est avail­able data are for year 2016, but some re­fer to 2015.

Ar­me­nia has reached an im­passe in its short-sighted pol­icy. The coun­try man­aged to turn once friendly Azer­bai­jan into its en­emy, be­ing sure that it will eas­ily seize Nagorno Karabakh – the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cepted part of Azer­bai­jan’s ter­ri­tory - on the ground that the ma­jor­ity of pop­u­la­tion there has been of Ar­me­nian ori­gin.

Don't lis­ten to any­one who says Ar­me­ni­ans felt in­fe­rior to Azer­bai­ja­nis dur­ing the 70 year of the Soviet era. Nei­ther is it eth­nic or re­li­gious con­flict as there were thou­sands of mixed mar­riages in both coun­tries. It is called ter­ri­to­rial claims.

Ar­me­nia is a coun­try with­out its own voice, the global pow­ers are ex­ploit­ing it as the re­gion’s loy­alty trader.

I have no idea how many Ar­me­ni­ans re­al­ize that it is much bet­ter to live in peace with their neigh­bors, as it had been some time be­fore in the past, rather than chase a shadow of “the Great Ar­me­nia”. The for­mer Ar­me­nian pres­i­dent Levon Ter-Pet­rosyan once voiced the idea of find­ing com­mon ground with Azer­bai­jan, and he paid for it – by los­ing his pres­i­den­tial post.

To­day there is no­body in Ar­me­nian so­ci­ety who dares to voice pub­licly a root cause of the na­tion’s de­te­ri­o­rat­ing per­for­mance as it is – oc­cu­pa­tion of an­other coun­try’s ter­ri­tory.

Eco­nomic dis­con­tent made Ar­me­ni­ans come out on streets twice within the last years to put end to their wors­en­ing con­di­tions of life (events of the so-called “Elec­tro­may­dan” in 2015, and “Sasna Ts­rer” in 2016). They protested about Serzh Sargsyan’s rule but they never ever high­lighted why they turned out to be in such a grave sit­u­a­tion.

Thus, at the time be­ing peo­ple of Ar­me­nia and the rul­ing regime are not pre­pared to face the truth.

But, let’s put emo­tions aside and look at a pic­ture that is grad­u­ally tak­ing shape. It is far from be­ing in favour of Ar­me­nia. The gap be­tween the two economies is grow­ing from year to year and this will most likely go on. Fig­ures shown in the chart are the first signs of Ar­me­nia’s fall, and this is a key fac­tor that will sooner or later make Ar­me­nia change its ag­gres­sive pol­icy.

En­ter Ar­me­nian di­as­pora. It is the most prag­matic part of Ar­me­ni­ans as it has good ex­pe­ri­ence how to sur­vive and suc­ceed in other coun­tries, and can bet­ter as­sess the risks Ar­me­nia is fac­ing. The di­as­pora has a sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence in Ar­me­nia. In ad­di­tion, the Di­as­pora does not de­pend on the process of par­lia­men­tary or pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in Ar­me­nia and con­se­quently it feels free in tak­ing de­ci­sions.

I be­lieve that Ar­me­nian di­as­pora is the one that could bring the fu­ture Ar­me­nian gov­ern­ment to terms, when its most pow­er­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tives are def­i­nitely sure that Ar­me­nia will not come out vic­to­ri­ous in the face-off with Azer­bai­jan. This is a cyn­i­cal ap­proach but it is what we have at hand.

How­ever, the chiefs of the di­as­pora should hurry up be­cause while they are play­ing for time, their young na­tion­als die ev­ery day at the armed forces con­tact line, and econ­omy of their moth­er­land is grad­u­ally go­ing down­hill.

Azer­bai­jan offers ne­go­ti­a­tions, peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the con­flict and is even pre­pared to giv Ar­me­ni­ans op­por­tu­nity to save face, but they should get a move on and with­draw their armed forces from oc­cu­pied Azer­bai­jani ter­ri­to­ries. Time is tick­ing away.

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